All car owners should have a set of basic car tools and accessories—including a power inverter. You don’t want to lug around a portable generator, do you? Get the best power inverter for car instead.
You can take your pick between a 12-volt or a 24-volt inverter. Here’s a tip: choose one that comes with two- and three-pronged AC outlets, and a USB port for charging digital devices.
Power Inverter For Car Reviews
ENERGIZER 1100 Watt Power Inverter
The 1100W Power Inverter by Energizer has an LCD display where you can monitor the voltage as well as its battery level. It has a silent thermal fan and 2 USB ports 2.1A. You’ll never run out of power again.
ENERGIZER 500W Power Inverter
The 500W Power Inverter by Energizer has a peak power of 1000W and 2 USB ports and 2 AC outlets. It perfectly works with almost all phones.
BESTEK 300W Power Inverter
The 300W Power Inverter by Bestek is portable and has 2110V AC outlets and 2 USB ports for fast charging of large devices. It has 40 amps built in fuse to protect your device as well.
BESTEK 75W Power Inverter
The Power Inverter by Bestek allows you to have 75 watts of continuous DC to AC in your car. You can easily plug it into your cigarette lighter socket. It also has built-in cooling fan auto-shutdown for your safety.
Maxboost 300W Power Inverter Dual
The Maxboost 300W Power Inverter Dual is a great source of power inside your car giving you safe charging as you travel. Its metal case is sturdy too.
Energizer EN100 Power Inverter
The EN100 Power Inverter by Energizer has an instantaneous 100 watts and is compatible with all smartphones with USB port. It is safe to use while you’re driving.
KRIEGER 1100 Watt 12V Power Inverter
The 1100 Watt Power Inverter by Krieger has 2 110V AC outlets as well as a complete kit for everything you need. It is high quality and safe to use even for larger devices.
PowerCup 200/400 Watt Mobile Inverter
The Power Cup Mobile Inverter by PoweLine is portable and allows you to adjust the 12V plug in different sized sockets. You’ll never worry about overheating because of its thermal fan and the case also has openings for air flow.
The CPI 2575 by Cobra has a 2500 Watts instantaneous power with 3 AC outlets that can supply power to 3 different devices at the same time. You can also track your power usage through its Volt meter display.
VertaMax 3000 Watt
The Vertamax 3000 Watt by Windy Nation provides every power you need while giving safety. It has 3 grounded AC outlets that can be used for large devices, as well as LED display for voltage and watts monitoring.
Types of Power Inverters
Simple inverters – This is commonly used to deliver normal AC power. This is attached to a car battery, where it draws the needed AC power.
Lightweight/Compact inverters – These are commonly installed in mini-vans, SUVs and cars. These are useful in powering laptops, camcorders, cellphones and small devices that run on smaller power/current loads.
Heavy-duty inverters – These are commonly installed in RVs, boats and trucks. These can power devices such as coffee makers, radios and small portable TVs.
Inverter/Chargers – These are dual functioning power inverters. These are commonly used to deliver backup power in case of power outages and other emergencies.
Usually, you can find them in remote work sites. These can power large equipment needed for heavy operations such as power drills and similar equipment.
You can also see them in some homes as backup sources of AC power. This type of inverter/charger can power up TVs, refrigerators and similar household appliances.
What to Look For in a Power Inverter for Car
Voltage input – The power inverter input voltage should match the voltage of the battery. For instance, if the car battery is 12V, the power inverter must be 12V.
Voltage Output – Check the voltage used in the devices where you intend to use the power inverter. In the US, Mexico and Latin America, electrical devices use AC power at 120V. Other countries use 220-250V.
Sine wave output – The power is usually similar to power from power grid system for public utility. This is ideal for use with network equipment and computers.
Modified sine wave – Power produced from this inverter is sufficient for everyday devices. It can operate from a cigarette lighter socket and easy to use.
Square wave – This comes in 4 groups- 300W for VCR, mobile office equipment and household appliances, 600W for power tools & large TVs, 1750W for hair dryers, microwave ovens and large power tools, and 3000W for all office equipment and household appliances.
GFCI outlets – While it’s okay if this feature is not installed in a power inverter, it is still beneficial for certain environmental conditions. The outlets should meet OSHA standards for safe use in humid or wet environments.
FAQs About Power Inverter for Cars
What are the common uses of power inverters? These are usually used in RVs and cars to power cellphones, laptops and small TVs while on the road.
How long will equipment run on in-vehicle, small simple inverters? Typically, small equipment can run indefinitely as long as the battery power is available and the engine is running.
How long will large inverter/charger run equipment? This type can run equipment for extended periods. You can add more batteries if you want your equipment to run longer.
What inverter size will I get? This depends on the number of equipment you intend to use simultaneously. You also need to consider the total AC power required by these devices.
How will you know the amount AC power that an inverter can provide? Add the wattage of these items and check if the inverter can supply the consequent power requirement.
Do I need inverters with high initial power? Yes, if the devices you intend to use have high initial power requirements. Examples are pumps, motors and compressors.
How to Install a Power Inverter in your Car
Connect small-load. This means the current load is less than 150 watts. The power inverter is simply connected to the cigarette lighter adapter. This is for occasional use of small equipment.
Connect heavy-load. This means loads of more than 150 watts. Connect the power inverter directly to the car battery. A 4-gauge power cable is necessary.
Remove the nut from the positive battery terminal. Insert power lead terminal over the bolt on the battery terminal post. Screw the nut back in.
The power lead terminal should never be attached directly to the battery post. Install a circuit breaker or in-line fuse near the battery to prevent short circuits.
Ground the inverter. The gauges of the ground wire and the power cable must be the same. The ground wire must be in direct contact with the negative battery terminal of bare car metal.
Create a ring on one end of the ground wire. Slip this over an existing screw or bolt directly in contact with the car body. Secure.